I have a friend who, in the past, would have confessed he was a Christian. Recently, things have changed. Twice in the last nine months, he has fallen away and doubted the authority of Scripture. Faced with this reality, the question “Can I really trust the Bible?” looms. Is the Bible really the word of God? Does it claim to be, seem to be, or prove to the very words of our Creator and Savior? Thanks to Barry Cooper’s Can I Really Trust the Bible? answers can be found to these questions. This book is the next in the Questions Christians Ask series and provides great help in showing the Bible’s claim as God’s word (chapters 1 and 2), the Bible as it seems to be the very words of God (chapter 3 and 4), and the Bible proving to be the true word of God (chapter 5).
This short book (81 pages) is packed with wisdom and great insights. Cooper aids Christians well in explaining terms like the “sufficiency of Scripture” (Cooper 12) and the “necessity of Scripture” (Cooper 17), phrases the average Christian may not fully understand. It doesn’t just stop with Christians, however. The gray-shaded sections examine common objections made against the Bible by non-Christians and counter their arguments. The most profound counter-argument may be in regards to the circular argument issue (Cooper 22-23). We all make circular arguments so it is no problem that we look to the Bible itself to know if it can be trusted. On the other hand, the Bible doesn’t try to prove the existence of a Creator. Why? Because “it’s just assumed o be as unmissable as the colossal flaming globe hanging over our heads” (Cooper 12). There we see the Bible is not to be used to answer every apologetic question we have but calls us to faith. Nevertheless, this book points out what the Bible is and who we are. The objection that the Bible has contradictions falls short in view of the tensions we see in the Bible. Instead of raising ourselves to be the authority over Scripture, we need to be reminded “we’re finite” and “we’re sinful” so we will not fully comprehend such matters (Cooper 57). The crucial point, I believe and as Cooper points out, is that “without the Holy Spirit within us we’ll never trust the Bible” (Cooper 73). It is only when does God a work on us that we trust in the Bible and, thus, act upon it (Cooper 69). So, in summary, Can I Really Trust the Bible? is a commendable resource to have on your bookshelf. While it may not answer all the questions you would like (although, it does have footnotes of books for further study), it begins the conversation. And it is a conversation worth starting.
I received this book for free from The Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.
3 thoughts on “Book Review: Can I Really Trust the Bible?”
This is so foundational to Christianity. If we don’t start from the solid foundation of Biblical inerrancy, then everything we believe comes into question. This sounds like a great resource!
My brother and his wife created some good resources too at http://solidchristian.com/. I used the “Bible” resource with my Growth Group.
You are so right, it is! If we do not believe the Bible to be the very words of God, we are on a slippery slope. Thanks for sharing the link. It looks intriguing and plan on looking into it more.
THE BATTLE OF THE BIBLE TRANSLATIONS BY STEVE FINNELL
Are there translations of the Bible that are not trustworthy? I know of one or two translations out of sixty-plus English translations that are not trustworthy. Many take the position that the King James Bible is the only dependable translation of God’s word.
A TRANSLATION COMPARISON.
KING JAMES BIBLE (KJV)
THE LIVING BIBLE-Paraphrased (TLB)
NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE (NASB)
John 3:16 For God so loved world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.(KJV)
John 3:16 For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (TLB-P)
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, the He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (NASB)
You will notice in the KJV and the TLB-P use lower case when translating, he and him. The NASB uses He and Him when talking about God and Jesus. Should God and Jesus be capitalized? Of course. Does that mean that the KJV and TLB-P are not trustworthy translations? NO IT DOES NOT. All three translations say the same thing.
Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (KJV)
Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, “Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. (TLB-P)
Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (NASB)
Notice all three translation say that in order to have your sins forgiven you must repent and be baptized. Some deny that repentance and baptism are essential for sins to be forgiven. MEN DENY THIS, NOT BECAUSE OF INACCURATE TRANSLATIONS. THEY SIMPLY CHOSE NOT TO BELIEVE IT.
Men are not going to be lost because of faulty translations. Men are lost because they refuse to believe in the translations they trust.
99% of all translation are trustworthy. My translation, of choice, is the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE. You can get to heaven by reading the KJV, TLB-P, the NIV and many other translations.
JUST PICK A TRANSLATION AND BELIEVE WHAT GOD SAYS.
YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com